The Evan Dobelle Story Enters Franco Death Watch…


Yeshiva University’s Credit Rating is…

…in free fall.

Westfield becomes …


Under the leadership of free spending Evan Dobelle, Westfield State University has taken on the feel of a horror film. Every day brings new financial and legal disaster. Most recently, the state of Massachusetts, displeased with Dobelle’s apparent misuse of public money, has frozen much of the school’s funding.

All of this because – with full knowledge of his scandalous behavior at his previous employer, the University of Hawaii – Westfield went ahead and hired this man.

The Canadians…

among us.

Uh –


“USC spokesman Wes Hickman said the university couldn’t comment on the specific allegations against Bennett since they don’t involve USC.”

Well, the local media’s got hold of the Charles Bennett story, and people in South Carolina think it’s a bit odd that after Bennett was booted out of Northwestern University for stealing grant funds (background here), the University of South Carolina turned around and picked him right up, giving him an endowed chair and a salary of close to $300,000. Crime pays.

USC’s spokesman came out with the brilliant response I quote in my title. The school can’t comment on any phenomenon that doesn’t involve USC. The allegations are a matter of public record, everyone’s commenting on them, but USC has a policy of not commenting on anything in the world that happens that doesn’t involve USC.

I guess the principle extends to hiring at USC too — since whatever Bennett did in Chicago doesn’t involve USC, he’s in. When Bennett steals USC grant money, then USC will review his position… Because then it will involve USC…

Gordon Gee …

… talks himself out of a job.

“The university had given Brixey an Aug. 17 deadline to explain not only the missing money but why $81,000 in loose cash was in his locked desk at the bookstore.”

I guess all universities need to be known for something; and at Missouri State University it’s hilarious, high-level mismanagement of money.

Naturally, the big money loss is about sports. There’s a new stadium about whose profitability the university lied (details here and here and here and here and here and here).

But there’s also the manager of the bookstore, whose decade-long theft of millions of dollars went unnoticed.

The US Attorney thanks MSU for its “quick actions.” Guess they do things more slowly in the heartland.

(And let UD simply state for the record, that if you think no one else at MSU knew what Mark Brixey was up to…)

‘“Boys are going to be boys,” he said.’

Board members of a fraternity with a chapter at the University of Florida don’t understand why that university made life so difficult for the boys that the frat’s national reps had to shut the chapter down. I mean, yes, theft; yes, hazing; yes, underage drinking…

But when you understand, for instance, the reason for the theft, it doesn’t look so bad.

[T]wo of its members were arrested and charged with theft in March after getting caught walking out of a local home improvement store with nearly $600 worth of plastic sheeting to be used for a pool party at the chapter’s house.

Boys are going to need plastic sheeting for pool parties, and it’s just sitting right there in the store.

Holy Double-Dipping Duo, Batman!

It took over five years, but after tons of investigations and charges and repayments, the husband/wife team of Jacko and Sainfort at the University of Minnesota (also, at the same time, drawing money from, Georgia Tech) is taking its leave of that school.

To this day, UD has no idea why Minnesota held onto these extremely highly compensated people for so long. UM knew within minutes of recruiting them that they were naughty.


UD thanks Bill.

An awful lot of ugly…

… has been sticking to Yeshiva University in the last few years. Ugly plus hypocrisy.

Last year, in the school newspaper, a Yeshiva student published a short story with mild sexual content. The school became hysterical, clapping filters on male students’ computer accounts (no need to do women; they don’t read about sex).

But sex and money issues involving older adults on campus don’t seem to get much of a rise out of Yeshiva’s president and board of trustees.

Of course, when those trustees have until recently included Bernard Madoff and Ezra Merkin, and when your “Entrepreneurial Institute” bears the name of Ira Rennert, you can expect a forgiving attitude toward ways and means of acquiring large sums.

Yeshiva said nothing when the Madoff/Merkin story broke; it simply got its technicians to remove, on the day the story broke, all references to the two of them from its website.

Eventually it had to talk, of course, about its victimization by those bad boys. (The victimization thing isn’t flying too well; Yeshiva “may be at risk for clawbacks.”) But it said as little as possible.

Now yet another scandal has roiled Yeshiva – another sex scandal. It hasn’t responded as aggressively as it did to that evil woman who wrote the short story. In fact, it has said and done nothing for decades about multiple complaints that rabbis at its high school sexually abused boys who were enrolled there.

From the mid 1980s until today … Y.U. officials … have dismissed claims or kept them quiet. Some of these officials allowed [one of the alleged abusers] to leave the Y.U. system and find a new position as dean of a Florida day school without disclosing the abuse allegations. Later, … a Y.U. rabbi warned the Florida school that Finkelstein could be a threat. And when Finkelstein’s next employer, the Jerusalem Great Synagogue, asked whether the allegations that dogged him were true, Y.U. assured the synagogue that there was nothing to worry about.

At this point, there’s a critical mass of ugly coming out of Yeshiva University. No doubt they’ve hired some incredibly expensive public relations firm in the belief that if you throw enough of your students’ tuition money around it will solve problems you created through your own negligence or ineptitude. One more insult piled onto many insults.

At most universities, the president of the school would have resigned by now.

“The group of protesters was greeted by Lawrence Biondi, S.J., president of SLU, who offered to take their drink orders.”

The clueless president and board of trustees at Saint Louis University, a Jesuit institution whose chief trustee embodies the Jesuit principle of humility at its finest, have hired an expensive public relations firm to handle the rage from faculty and students that their own regal indifference to both groups has generated.

UD does not think this approach will work very well. Remember the University of Virginia.

Sensitive, rational graduates of our best schools. And their ethics programs.

… This week, I stopped by St. Andrews Plaza in Lower Manhattan to see Preet Bharara, the United States attorney for the Southern District of New York, and his deputy, Richard Zabel, the former head of the criminal division. Both said they couldn’t discuss any pending cases. But many people who work in financial markets “are highly skilled at cost-benefit analysis,” Mr. Bharara told me. “They’re highly intelligent. They’ve been to the best schools. They weigh the risk of getting caught against the potential reward, and they decide it’s worth the risk. We’re trying to tilt that equation.”

… For the most part, inside traders aren’t hardened criminals but rational decision-makers. When confronted by an F.B.I. agent in his front yard, [Mathew] Martoma fainted.

So what we’ve created with our best schools is a class of sensitive, rational, ethically keen criminals who do not think of themselves as criminals. They faint when they see the FBI coming.

I suppose it’s a sort of cultural accomplishment. Me, I prefer the old school.

A truly classic university fraud.

These can be twisted, inept, inventive, off the charts; but the classic university fraud – UD has no idea why, but she’s been covering university frauds for a long time – involves the director of an engineering-related program, a guy, who creates a fake company and gives his grant money from the federal government to that company and then uses it to buy a condo on a golf course and a Lexus and a whole lotta other shit.

Not that I want to beat up on my already unranked institution, but George Washington University experienced exactly such a fraud just a few years ago.

Since these always go according to a rather strict formula, you’d figure schools would have guards posted at the doors of their directors of engineering programs, but I guess this is not considered good form. In any case, it keeps happening, with Morgan State University the latest case.

A full-time engineering professor at Morgan State University was indicted by a federal grand jury Wednesday in an alleged scheme to defraud the National Science Foundation of hundreds of thousands of dollars in grant funding.

Manoj Kumar Jha, 45, who oversees the university’s transportation engineering graduate program, according to the university’s website, allegedly fabricated an elaborate research proposal on behalf of a private company he founded and then applied for funding through the NSF’s Small Business Technology Transfer program, according to the Maryland U.S. attorney’s office…. Jha received $200,000 to conduct the research but instead allegedly made personal mortgage and credit card payments, paid his wife $11,000 for work she didn’t do and wrote himself a $6,000 check, prosecutors said.

Jha, who is also the founding director of Morgan State’s Center of Advanced Transportation and Infrastructure Engineering Research, also applied for $500,000 more for the project but did not receive it, prosecutors said.

And what a tangled web we weave!

In March 2011, Jha allegedly sent back faked time sheets for a purported research scientist as well as a copy of a faked expenditure ledger “in which he allegedly entered fictitious research expenses in order to conceal the fact that NSF funds had been converted to Jha’s personal use,” prosecutors said.

Back Home Again in Indiana

A Fifth Law School In Indiana!
And it seems that I can see
The unemployment rate escalate
Right along with bankruptcy.
The new law school sends all its students
To a field that has no work.
When I think about the law school on the Wabash
Then I long for a state not full of jerks.

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